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Bankruptcy After Death


A & L, Licker Law Firm, LLC
1861 Sherman Drive
St. Charles, MO 63303
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (636) 916-5400

A & L, Licker Law Firm, LLC provides bankruptcy, personal injury and family law legal services to residents of St. Louis County, St. Charles County and Jefferson County, Missouri, including the cities of St. Charles, St. Louis, Florissant, O'Fallon, St. Peters, Wentzville, Troy, Lake St. Louis, Bridgeton, Hazelwood, Ferguson and the surrounding area.

Disclaimer: The use of our web site is for informational purposes only, it does not creat an attorney-client relationship. We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The choice of a laywer is an important decision and should not be based solely upon advertising. 

Bankruptcy, Taxes and Debt are Certain Even after Death

Many of us are familiar with the old adage “nothing is certain but death and taxes.” Well, how familiar are we with these certainties relative to a bankruptcy filing? For example, is your estate required to pay a tax debt after you die before completing a bankruptcy agreement? Are you liable for the tax debt of a deceased spouse if you have filed for bankruptcy?

Experiencing the death of a spouse is devastating. Compounding this stressful time is dealing with a spouse’s death before a bankruptcy proceeding closes. Fortunately, the Bankruptcy Code addresses this issue regarding a debt holder.

The process typically depends on the type of bankruptcy filed before the death. If you and your spouse filed a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, death or becoming incompetent will not change the proceedings. With a Chapter 13, the case could either be dismissed or resolved in the best interest of all parties. The bankruptcy court allows a Chapter 7 case to continue after death or some type of incapacitation. The trustee, a person assigned to administer the estate on behalf of unsecured creditors, can continue to make payments from the deceased person’s assets.

The outcome is slightly different for a Chapter 13 bankruptcy where the debtor’s finances are reorganized to manage the debts. If the case is not dismissed and further administration is possible, the case proceeds as if the debtor is still alive or competent.

Liability for your spouse’s debts usually depends on where you live. Generally, states follow either community property or common law practices. Common law states, like Missouri, hold the spouse who incurs the debt responsible. You are not liable for your spouse’s credit card debt if you name is not on the account.

While the court might dismiss a Chapter 13 bankruptcy case, you could pursue another option for handling your spouse’s debt. Some state laws allow a hardship discharge of the debt. The difference is you can avoid being harassed by creditors who attempt to collect on your spouse’s debt.

Bankruptcy laws are broad and cover many different circumstances. This includes death and having a clear understanding of the process can reduce the level of stress you endure. Contact a bankruptcy attorney today to discuss your options.

For Current Clients

Our Locations

St. Charles Office

1861 Sherman Drive
St Charles, MO 63303
Phone: 636-916-5400

At Hwy 94 and Hwy 70.

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St. Louis Office

3470 Hampton Ave, Suite 101
St. Louis, MO 63109
Phone: 314-353-0834

Close to the corner of Hampton Ave and Chippewa. By appointment only.

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South & Jefferson County office

7321 S. Lindbergh Ave., Suite 222
St. Louis, MO 63125
Phone: 636-916-5400

Across the South County Mall.

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Florissant Office (North County)

1281 Graham Rd, Suite 300
Florissant, MO 63031
Phone: 314-921-1880

At North Hanley and Hwy 270.

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Belleville Office (St. Clair county)

2 Park Place Professional Centre
Belleville, Illinois 62226
Phone: 618-977-9560

On Hwy 159, next to Schnucks.

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Granite City Office (Madison County)

3600 Nameoki Rd, Suite 201
Granite City, IL 62040
Phone: 618-977-9560

Across Shop'n Save, by appointment only.

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